Republicans Would Rather Red-Staters Die than Pay for Externalities Related to Oil

We’re on our second near-record tornado this year and summer hasn’t even started. Joplin, MO and Birmingham, AL have been especially hard hit, but much of flyover country is set to spend the summer hunkering down to hide from truly horrifying weather.

Yet Eric Cantor wants to hold disaster relief hostage to debt hysteria. (h/t Steve Benen)

The No. 2 House Republican said that if Congress doles out additional money to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters across the country, the spending may need to be offset.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said “if there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.”

The stance is all the more heartless given that most rational people believe there’s a tie between the increasingly volatile weather and climate change. That is, it’s not just that Eric Cantor wants to deprive fly-over country of any government assistance in the face of freak natural disaster, he’s demanding that communities suffering the consequences of climate change also pay the bill to clean up after climate change-caused disaster. He’s asking already-devastated communities to pay for our collective addiction to oil (and coal).

One obvious solution might be to impose a carbon tax at least big enough to pay for such disasters, which are likely to become more and more common.

But these same Republicans that want Joplin to pay the price of getting flattened by tornadoes are also heading in the wrong direction. They want debt reduction, they claim. But they also refuse to cut subsidies to the same carbon industry contributing so much to climate change.

We have enough money, apparently, to keep paying off the most profitable corporations in the world. But not enough to help our neighbors who pay the physical, emotional, and economic price for those corporations’ profits.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

  1. PeasantParty says:

    Lawd! Have Mercy!

    Listen, they are even trying to fool folks on when they should be re-elected. Take one of my evil-doers, Lindsey Graham for example.

    He was re-elected to the senate in 2008. Yet, he and his staff seem to think that the senator won’t face another election until the year 2014. Don’t believe it? Check out his website. They think it is okay to slip another two years onto a four year term and nobody will be the wiser.

    Not so fast Mr. Grahamtute! Just because you got the MIA in your corner, you can’t pull that on America.

  2. rosalind says:

    (EW: re. your Disney “Star Tours” post – Disney has added an update to their press release. Right after “When it’s your turn to go through the passenger scan (a thermal body scan effect), you may be verbally accosted by a security droid.” they’ve added “[Editor Note (5/23/11): This is a theming element of the queue, and a great parody at the expense of TSA. This is NOT a serious or actual security scan – the thermal imaging is similar to what has been used for years in Test Track at Epcot.]” seems the Mouse House is a mite defensive, thx for your role in putting on the heat.

    and one more for the normalization of the Security State: “Two sisters are taking the Santa Fe school district to federal court over the way they were patted down and searched on their way prom. One senior tells Eyewitness News 4 the pat down was so invasive she felt like she was being molested.

    When Herrera was up to be searched she says the female security guard made her extremely uncomfortable. “She grabbed my breast and grabbed the inner part of my bra and shook it and then picked up the front of my dress to like mid thigh.” Herrera said. “She was patting down my bare legs which kind of didn’t make sense.”)

      • rosalind says:

        i posted this on another site, and someone replied that she just went through the ride during its “soft open”, and they weren’t berated by the droids. we’ll have to await the official opening for further info…